“In Their Own Words” is an ongoing series featuring the experiences of Middlebury students at their summer internships. This summer Ellery Berk ’14 interned with Gardens for Health International in Kigali, Rwanda.
What did you do?
For the month of June, I interned with Gardens for Health International as a communications intern, conducting interviews, collecting media and writing blogs. Gardens for Health is an agricultural NGO that partners with Rwandan health centers to equip families facing malnutrition with the knowledge and resources for greater self-sufficiency.
What did you learn?
Through Gardens for Health, I learned anew the values of self-sufficiency and community, and I have great expectations for our partnership moving forward. I learned that it is very important to be flexible.
What are your plans for the future?
My interest in development and global health remains strong; however, I realize that my place in the field likely does not lie in a small grassroots organization. While in Rwanda, I found that the most effective work Gardens for Health did was completed by Rwandans themselves. Expat staffers provided programmatic and technical support for Rwandan staff members, but little else. From this experience, I’ve learned that if I want to continue in the global health and development field, I should probably work with larger organizations, like Oxfam or the UN, and I should get an MPP and MBA.
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